A female Boots pharmacist attending to a female customer

Our goal is to proactively support the personal health and wellbeing of our employees. Please read the stories below to learn more about our initiatives in this area.

Early career programs, career support and training

Our businesses such as Boots UK, Alliance Healthcare and Walgreens sponsor a number of programs and events to support young people in their first career steps, including internships, award programs, apprenticeships and activities for secondary school students.
Boots UK’s apprenticeship and work experience programs are designed to get young people excited about careers in community pharmacy and retail. Boots UK continued its healthcare apprenticeship program during fiscal 2017, with 82 participants aged 16 to 24 starting the program and learning on the job in paid positions at Boots UK stores across the country.

Skills for Chicagoland

In Chicago, Walgreens is helping to tackle high levels of unemployment among the city’s young people by partnering with nonprofit Skills for Chicagoland’s Future (Skills). Through Skills’ initiatives, companies provide entry-level jobs with career pathways, critical support and possibilities for advancement. Walgreens has been involved with Skills since 2014 and as of 31 August 2017 had hired 42 diverse youth and young adults in positions including cashier, shift lead, assistant manager trainee and pharmacy technician.
Walgreens is committed to continuing involvement with Skills’ programs, which focus on disadvantaged Chicago neighborhoods but are meant to create a scalable model for other cities and companies to replicate.

Walgreens and education

 In fiscal 2017 close to 5,000 employees participated in leadership programs at Walgreens University, which offers a wide array of training, skills building and career development courses. Walgreens employees also receive functional and developmental training courses through an online portal.
During fiscal 2017 Walgreens approved more than $1 million in donations for the 2017-2018 school year, to help support diversity scholarships, inclusion training and other initiatives at accredited pharmacy schools in the U.S.
Reducing Reoffending through Employment
In collaboration with business-led charity Business in the Community (BITC), Boots UK and Alliance Healthcare in the UK have continued to lead the Reducing Reoffending through Employment network, which has convened 19 different member companies since 2012, primarily from the Boots supply chain. The network builds partnerships with prisons and social enterprises to give ex-offenders a fair chance to compete for jobs and to offer employment opportunities to help them rebuild their lives free from crime.
Boots UK was one of the earliest companies to sign up to the UK Ban the Box campaign and in the U.S., Walgreens was also an early adopter of Ban the Box and has removed the criminal record check box from employment applications to help give people with convictions a fair chance to compete for jobs.

Supporting employees in crisis

 The Walgreen Benefit Fund in the U.S. and the Boots Benevolent Fund in the UK –both funded by donations from employees and former employees – assist employees and retirees experiencing hardship, such as financial difficulty due to accidents, long-term illnesses or natural disasters. During fiscal 2017 the U.S. fund, which is a private foundation and registered charity, provided more than $2.3 million in assistance to more than 1,500 employees and retirees, while the UK fund helped close to 200 employees with more than $250,000 in grants and loans. In addition, the Boots UK Lifeworks employee assistance program offers support, information, expert advice and face-to-face or telephone counseling to help colleagues prepare for life’s predictable milestones and to cope with unexpected events.

Walgreens wellness program

 The Walgreens wellness program continues to offer healthy incentives to employees enrolled in a medical plan and their covered spouse or partner. Participants in the program can earn up to $100 in Balance Reward points, redeemable at Walgreens stores and at Walgreens.com, when they make healthy choices such as getting a flu shot, accessing the Work & Life Resources employee assistance program, calling their health coach or living tobacco free. The opportunities to earn points were expanded during fiscal 2017.

Investors in People “Gold Standard” accreditation

In June 2017 Alloga UK, our specialist logistics solutions business in the UK, achieved the Investors in People “Gold Standard” accreditation, an internationally recognized standard for people management within businesses. The accreditation followed an online assessment sent to more than 800 Alloga UK employees, an evaluation of the business’s procedures, and interviews with staff. The assessment highlighted Alloga’s strengths, including employees feeling empowered and trusted by their managers to drive improvement in the business and become the best they can possibly be.

Employee and employee retention data

 We measured our one-year and five-year employee retention rates as of 31 August 2017 and compared them with the rates one year earlier. The increases in employees who have been with the Company more than one year and more than five years were mainly due to reductions in store hours at Walgreens, which had a greater impact on employees with less than one year of service.
Employees by Division1,2 As of August 20173 As of August 2016
Retail Pharmacy USA 235,000 247,000
Retail Pharmacy International 86,000 89,000
Pharmaceutical Wholesale 27,000 26,000
Walgreens Boots Alliance 348,000 362,000
Employee retention1,2

As of August 20173

As of 31 August 20165
Working for Walgreens Boots Alliance for more than 1 year
79% 76%
Working for Walgreens Boots Alliance for more than 5 years4
43% 42%

1 Employees of fully owned Walgreens Boots Alliance businesses; does not include employees of companies in which Walgreens Boots Alliance has equity method investments.
2 On March 31 2017 Walgreens Boots Alliance closed a transaction with Prime Therapeutics LLC (Prime) to form a combined central specialty pharmacy and mail services company, AllianceRx Walgreens Prime, as part of a strategic alliance. Our fiscal 2017 workplace data include the Prime specialty and mail order business that became part of the combined company, but our corporate giving and environment data do not.

3 Fiscal 2017 data within Deloitte & Touche LLP’s review scope.
4 Includes existing employees of businesses that have become part of Walgreens Boots Alliance.
5 We previously reported that as of August 31 2016, 68 percent of employees had been with the Company for more than a year and 34 percent for more than five years. These figures have been restated to more accurate data now available.



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